Friday, November 25, 2011


Workshop 15 is really about Unitarian Universalism in general and how the history of several encounters and disagreements was addressed.  We discussed the early history of the big split between white and non-white Unitarian Universalists in the 60s and 70s which resulted in large numbers of resignations on the part of people of color.  It was a tragic!  The second incident was at the 2005 Fort Worth General Assembly when young black people were mistaken for waiters and/or bell hops by other Unitarian Universalists.  One group discussed the historical lessons and another group discussed the more recent event. We asked participants to structure their discussion around three questions: 1) what’s your assessment of how these incidents were handled?  2) How would you have handled the incidents?  3) Could something like that happen at our Fellowship? The general consensus was that the Fort Worth incident should have been discussed immediately because it would have been a wonderful learning opportunity.  It was addressed shortly thereafter and precautions have been put in place to prevent such happenings again.  Further, in discussing if such things could happen at our Fellowship, many agreed that it has already happened; particularly in the way we greet newcomers who are non-white.  We hope to work with the Membership committee in order to facilitate training for Greeters and others interested in visitors to our Fellowship.

Summary of feedback to the session:

1.  One person thought that we should not be rehashing old stuff.
2.  Several people liked the idea that we were finally addressing these issues at our Fellowship.
3.  One person liked the fact that the time constraints were somewhat relaxed.
4.  One person thought the leadership was good but too unstructured.